The American Trucking Associations will co-sponsor the American Sleep Apnea Association's maiden national conference on sleep apnea and trucking, which is slated for Wednesday, May 12, 2010, at The Westin Baltimore Washington Airport - BWI in Baltimore.

According to the ASAA, as many as 28 percent of commercial drivers may be afflicted with sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition in which an individual's airway is blocked while sleeping, typically resulting in frequent breathing interruptions lasting from 10 seconds to more than a minute at a time, loud snoring and non-restorative sleep. One controlled study found that people with OSA have a six times greater risk of being involved in a traffic crash and a seven times greater risk of having multiple crashes.

"It is important that the trucking industry actively engages in improving the quality of life and the performance of our drivers," said Bill Graves, ATA president and CEO. "Professional truck drivers play a vital role in delivering our nation's freight."

The conference will feature presentations and panel discussions that focus on providing a common understanding of OSA diagnosis and treatment, clarifying current and proposed regulations, establishing an ongoing forum of experts to generate guidance for improvements, and providing trucking management with the resources to improve employee health and safety.

"The trucking industry continues to grapple with the tough questions and issues surrounding screening and treatment for sleep apnea," said Dave Osiecki, ATA vice president of safety, security and operations. "This event is a significant step forward and we encourage industry stakeholders to participate."

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